Musculoskeletal (MSK) pain is frequently reported among adolescents and children and is a common reason for consultation in primary care. Our aim is to examine its prevalence in 6-year-old children in a general population and to assess associations with physical and psychosocial factors. Data from the Generation R Study, a population-based cohort, was used. Prevalence and characteristics of MSK pain were assessed with parent-reported questionnaires at 6 years of age (N = 6200). Demographics and data on physical activity, sedentary behaviors, previous reported MSK pain, and behavioral problems were extracted from questionnaires. The body mass index SD score was calculated from objectively measured weight and height. A 3-month prevalence of 10.0% was found for MSK pain in children, of which one-third was chronic, and 44.6% experienced together with pain at other sites. Univariate analyses showed that boys and children with lower socioeconomic status reported MSK pain more frequently compared to other pain and no pain. Although no associations were found between MSK pain and children's body mass index and physical activity level, children with MSK pain were more likely to watch television ≥2 hours/day. Multivariable analysis showed significant associations for MSK pain at 3 years of age (odds ratio 5.10, 95% confidence interval 3.25-7.98) and behavioral problems (odds ratio 2.10, 95% confidence interval 1.19-3.72) with the presence of MSK pain. So, MSK pain is already common in young children and is often chronic or recurrent. Previous reported MSK pain and behavioral problems are independently associated with MSK pain in the studied population.

Additional Metadata
Keywords MSK, Complaints, Child, Pediatric, Psychosocial, Demographics, Weight status, Physical activity, Sedentary behavior, Child behavior, Epidemiology
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1097/j.pain.0000000000001797, hdl.handle.net/1765/127257
Journal Pain
Citation
van den Heuvel, M.M. (Marleen M.), Jansen, P.W, Bindels, P.J.E, Bierma-Zeinstra, S.M, & van Middelkoop, M. (2020). Musculoskeletal pain in 6-year-old children: the Generation R Study. Pain, 161(6), 1278–1285. doi:10.1097/j.pain.0000000000001797